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Tomorrow, When the War Began (2012)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 55
Fresh: 35 | Rotten: 20

While the script isn't amazing and the story's race issues linger, this adaptation of John Marsden's book is an exciting, action-heavy adventure that should please fans of the series.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 2

While the script isn't amazing and the story's race issues linger, this adaptation of John Marsden's book is an exciting, action-heavy adventure that should please fans of the series.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 9,400

My Rating

Movie Info

Tomorrow When the War Began is a pulse-pounding action thriller that follows the journey of eight high school friends in an Australian coastal town whose lives are suddenly and violently upended by an invasion that no one saw coming. Caitlin Stasey stars as 17 year old Ellie Linton, a precocious teen who leads her best friends including Corrie (Rachel Hurd-Wood) and Kevin (Lincoln Lewis) to an isolated, deep in the woods camp site named 'Hell.' Upon returning, they come to grips with the fact

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Latest News on Tomorrow, When the War Began

February 23, 2012:
Critics Consensus: Act of Valor Misses the Mark
The 84th Annual Academy Awards are Sunday, so here's your last chance to check out the nominees...
August 30, 2010:
Stuart Beattie talks Tomorrow, When the War Began
The Pirates of the Caribbean and Collateral writer discusses his directorial debut, Australian teen...


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All Critics (57) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (20) | DVD (2)

You know the drill: A small group of unsuspecting adventurers wanders into danger, and not all of them will get out alive.

February 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just fast-moving fun, enough so to gloss over its shortcomings.

February 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Comment (1)
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's a vein of thoughtfulness running beneath the brazenly explosive action highlights and fist-pumping soundtrack, though the suspense does fall prey to some debilitating credibility issues.

April 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Australia may finally have a homegrown blockbuster on its hands with the terrifically engaging Tomorrow, When the War Began, an action-packed war film for and about teenagers.

September 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter | Comments (3)
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...despite the R-rating, this isn't really a movie for grown-ups, Tomorrow When the War Began can't be completely dismissed as a teen movie either. It's a curious thing, with sleek, fluid action set pieces and moments that approach - then bungle - grace.

April 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

"Tomorrow" is less realistic than "Red Dawn," if you can wrap your head around that without making it pop off.

February 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

a nice combination of high school angst and blockbuster action

February 23, 2012 Full Review Source:

This is a movie that packs in a lot of very cool action while still addressing its themes intelligently. It's one to seek out.

February 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat | Comment (1)
Aisle Seat

Quite a crafty genre mash-up that deserves to find an audience.

February 23, 2012 Full Review Source:

Undeniably entertaining, but also profoundly silly, making Red Dawn look like a documentary by comparison.

February 22, 2012 Full Review Source:

So full of stock types and clichés it makes The Breakfast Club look like Nashville.

February 21, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

A resistance-combatant-primer disguised as a teen-exploitation flick, "Tomorrow When the War Began" delights in guilty pleasures.

February 20, 2012 Full Review Source:

Despite the far-fetched set-up (and the often clunky dialogue and acting), you'll soon be rooting for the plucky teens.

September 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

The door is tantalisingly left open for a sequel, and if it's as enjoyable as this then it won't be an unwelcome one.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

American audiences might prefer to see their own country being invaded by Asiatic hordes on the big screen, but Tomorrow, When the War Began is as glossy and slick as any Hollywood production . . .

April 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

This is cringe-worthy commercial cinema of the worst kind.

April 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Scotsman

Despite some effective moments, the film doesn't begin to compare with Milius's highly sophisticated rightwing movie that gives the Soviet and Cuban invaders their due.

April 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian

Despite some decent acting, the teenagers seem more cardboard than flesh and blood.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

It passes the time innocuously enough, but the ingredients for global success are missing.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Headline 'serious teen issues' are crammed down our throats in the most inane and unbelievable way imaginable.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Well worth catching due to believable characters, some great action scenes and a looming sense of threat.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

Based on a cult teen novel by John Marsden, the picture has some arresting set-pieces but never makes much sense (where is the Australian army?) and only generates sporadic tension.

April 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Express | Comments (2)
Daily Express

Audience Reviews for Tomorrow, When the War Began

Last year, the remake of the action popcorn cult hit Red Dawn hit theatres, and was disappointing to say the least. The idea of a teen militia fighting an enemy is nothing new, but when it's done right, you can pull off a well crafted film with a cast that can actually act. Although the Red Dawn remake was disappointing, I found it to be a decent film with mindless entertainment value. However with that being said, it was a highly forgettable film. Tomorrow When the War Began on the other hand is a similar film, but it is a better executed movie that has a good cast and a better plot. The film is packed with action and drama and it is a standout film that is sure to please viewers that were let down by the Red Dawn remake. This film has a better cast and a much better script, which makes this a necessity to watch for viewers looking for the perfect entertainment. The film is not perfect, but for the most part, it more than delivers its fair share of thrills. Plus on the other hand, the film is well structured with good characters and a very good plot, better than the Red Dawn remake anyway. I really enjoyed the film, and thought it was a well crafted picture worth checking out. If you love these types of films, don't hesitate to seek this one out, you'll be glad you did. The film could have used a bit more polishing in some areas, but for the most part; it succeeds at being a good film that will highly entertain you from start to finish.
July 30, 2013
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

"With all the crap in my life happening right now, I just wanted a simple action flick to ease my mind and not make me think so much. This film succeeded that for me. It wasn't the best film I could have chosen, but it was listed closer to the top of my que on Netflix, so that is what was chosen. The acting is OK. Nothing to write the award shows about. The story wasn't too interesting either. But still it managed to entertain me with it having the essence of "Red Dawn". But not as good. I got into it and that's all that mattered. I needed to be brain dead for awhile and this film succeeded in making that happen. I think it's worth a look at. Plus I think I might have liked it bit more because of all these damn apocalyptic books I've been reading. Still, give it a go if you get a chance."
November 20, 2012

Super Reviewer

I love the concept and execution of the novel but there were times when I could tell this was created from a young adult series of books. While Red Dawn didn't hold back when it came to the reality of the risk the characters put themselves in this one seems to shy away from it. It's a great start to what could be a great series of films.
March 19, 2012

Super Reviewer

A film about teenagers at war. However, these aren't REAL teenagers in a REAL war. This is all fictional crap, leaving our protagonists as self-obsessed prats, that will chat about kissing boys when they are in the middle of blowing up a bridge. The film is just a teenagers fantasy. Dumb-ass teenagers will come out hoping a war will break out soon. They are able to take out highly trained soldiers, which have just seized a developed country. It doesn't make sense, and this lack of sense leads to huge shifts in tone which collide traumatically. There's some slapstick humor, quickly followed by insane rants about the nature of the soul and life. Even after just 45 minutes these rants come across as out of character. The tension is non-existent. In the right hands, a film like this could have had be biting my finger nails, instead I was clipping them due to boredom. The film also muddles its themes. Is it against war or not? Perhaps this is due to the characters having to muse on such complex questions, but then it all hangs on whether or not the dog will live. A short and subtle moment where Ellie sees a painting of Aborigines doesn't raise any interesting discussions. Instead, they find a bullet-proof rubbish truck and have a high speed chase. Like a child trying to get involved in a debate with an educated adult, this is interesting to watch at first, but ultimately embarrassing.
March 16, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Fiona Maxwell: Can I go home yet?
    – Submitted by Frances H (8 months ago)
    1. Ellie Linton: I can't tell if what I did was right or wrong.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Ellie Linton: People are dying out there!
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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